Kickapoo alum, NBA vet Tolliver back in Springfield

Once again, as he has for nearly a decade, former Kickapoo hoops star and eight-year NBA veteran Anthony Tolliver returned to the city that launched his career.

Tolliver arrived at The Courts Friday afternoon to prepare for his basketball camp, which will begin on Monday, June 20.

“I think it’s my seventh camp here at The Courts,” he said. “It’s just been a lot of fun. I literally have just as much as the kids do.”

The camp is a welcome distraction this offseason for Tolliver, who is unsure where his next basketball home will be.

“I’m a free agent this summer, so looking forward to it,” he said. “[I’m] feeling good about chances of going back to Detroit, but none of that’s promised until you sign the contract.”

Tolliver has spent the last season and a half with the Pistons, where he averaged just over six point a game. He says he’s healthy and hopes to play until he’s at least 35, but that some of the best times he’s had on the hardwood came in Springfield.

“This is kind of my base, so I don’t ever want to live too far away from here,” he said of the Queen City. “There’s very few other times in my basketball career where I had as much fun as I did in high school.”

The former Chief said he kept up with this season’s squad that fell to Chaminade in the Class 5 state championship game. They were playing against Jayson Tatum, a Duke commitment and one of the top high school players in the country. As a player who was once in those shoes, Tolliver said playing a guy like that was “tough.”

“I’m sure that’s kind of what some of the teams we played against felt like,” he said, laughing. “You know, ‘We might win, I don’t know.”

But no one can accuse Tolliver of being a fair-weather fan.

“I put my money on Kickapoo and lost about a hundred bucks,” he said, laughing again. “But at the end of the day, I had to represent for my city and for my school. I’m so proud of those guys, they had a great year.”

Tolliver’s camp begins June 20 and runs through June 22.